Jeffrey (front,third right) together with Badaruddin (front, fourth right), Amde (front, second right), Dripin (front, fifth right) and other supporters in a group photo after the press conference yesterday.
PENAMPANG Dec 17, 2011: Sabah and Sarawak will likely see a formation of an alliance to unite alternative parties from the two east Malaysian states against the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming general election.
United Borneo Front (UBF) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said plans were already in motion with several parties from both states coming together to find a workable collaboration.
The former PKR vice-president said they were still discussing the mechanisms and preparations to face the election, but they were all in agreement that a one-on-one fight was more favourable than multiple corner contests.
“This is the principle we are looking at, we did talk about the virtue of trying to use a common symbol, but we haven’t decided (anything yet),” he said when asked about the possibility of the organisations forming a pact under a common banner.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president Amde Sidek, president of Sabah’s newly-revived Usno party Datu Badaruddin Datu Mustapha and Sarawak-based State Reform Party’s (Star) president Dr Dripin Sakoi were present at the function, signaling their alignment with the UBF’s Borneo alliance agenda.
“Today is a historical day as we move forward to the next level or stage, that is forging a united Borneo alliance. All of us here will move together on common interests,” said Jeffrey further.
He stressed that UBF considered itself as a civil rights body that would collaborate with any political party, organisation and individual that shared the same goals of protecting and safeguarding the interests and rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
There was no announcement on the speculated formation of a Sarawak-based party chapter in Sabah made at the function.
He said Usno and UBF have the same goals to unite the people to make the state a better place by recognising and addressing major issues faced by the people, most of which were not acknowledged by the existing BN government.
Amde meanwhile said SAPP subscribed to the idea mooted out by UBF all along and the support garnered from other quarters was a good indication of what was to come.
Asked about the idea of facing the GE under one banner, he said they had yet come to that and the matter was subject to further discussion.
“We have ample time to discuss about that. There are things that needs to be sorted and ironed out. The idea is operating together and SAPP is always ‘friendly’ towards other opposition parties.
“Basically we are all in the opposition and the idea is to topple Barisan Nasional, so it doesn’t matter what party (logo), we are helping each other,” he said.
Sarawak representative Dr Dripin meanwhile said Star had been in discussions with UBF for months and was keen to collaborate as Sarawak faced similar problems with Sabah.
“Both organisations share the same principles and struggles, and that Star will support any initiatives that serve the best interest of the two states,” he said.